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Essentials Every Work From Home Space Should Have

By Katherine George

Working from home probably sounds really nice at first, but after a few weeks most people begin to realize that it’s a lot harder than it looks! There is a lot more that goes into being properly equipped to work from home than just having a laptop and a place to sit. This is especially true if you’re working from home in a shared living space or for an extended period of time.

To be successful at working from home, you not only need the proper equipment, but you also need the proper space and a few rules and guidelines. Before setting up your home office, here are some essentials that every work from home space should have…

A Dedicated “Working” Space

A dedicated working space is key to being successful while working from home. When we work from home there are so many distractions — our TV, bed, pets, family members, roommates, even a kitchen stocked full of food is a distraction! You need to have your own space where you can work. It’s the best way to tune out distractions and maintain a respectable level of productivity. It will also help distinguish working hours. People who work from home are prone to being a little less productive and vice versa. Some people may have trouble stepping away from their work at the end of the day.

You might be thinking, well my home isn’t big enough to create a “work space.” Even if you don’t live in a home with separate rooms, you can still set up a designated working space. If you’re living in an apartment, set up at the kitchen table. If you live with roommates, put a desk in your bedroom and work from there. Just don’t work from bed or on the couch with the TV on. Do your best to emulate a typical office space. This will help increase your productivity.

Proper Internet Service

This one might seem obvious, but a lot of people’s homes aren’t equipped for a the large amount of internet usage necessary when working, especially if our neighbors are doing the same thing. For a lot of families, it’s not just one person working from home, it’s multiple. If there are two parents and then children who are all using the internet for their own studies or just to pass the time by surfing around on the internet, using their phones, smart tvs, that’s a lot of pressure on one internet source.

Pretty much everyone who is able to do their job at home needs to use the internet. Before setting up your home office, ensure that you have high quality internet that is appropriate for the number of people in your home and their usage. There’s nothing more annoying than a spotty internet connection!


This is at the top of the list because it’s probably the most obvious. If you’re going to work from home, you need the tools necessary to work from home. While there are lots of jobs out there that don’t require a computer, most jobs do, especially when confined to your home. Every productive work space needs either a laptop or a computer.

A laptop is ideal because you can move it around freely depending on where you need or want to do your work. Hopefully, you’ll be able to take the laptop that was provided to you by your work, but if you work for yourself or as a freelancer, you’ll need to invest in a dependable and user-friendly laptop.

A Second Monitor

The need for a second monitor may depend on your job, but for most people who work online or with a computer throughout the day, they have two monitors, including their laptop. To be successful working from home, especially if it’s for an extended period of time, you’ll need that extra monitor. Working off just a laptop for a day or two is fine, but after a long period of time, you’ll likely start to get frustrated, particularly if you’re used to working with two screens.

A second monitor is a great investment because it not only helps you emulate your work atmosphere, but it will increase your productivity. You’ll be able to multitask by having multiple windows open at the same time and get a full scope of everything you’re working on. Trust us, once you start working with two monitors, you’ll never want to go back!

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Headphones are a must if you’re working in shared living space. This is particularly important if there is more than one person working from home at the same time. You need noise cancelling headphones to help yourself hear your co-workers better during a meeting or call, but you also want to be respectful of the other people in your shared living space who are also trying to work. They don’t need to hear your call and in some cases, you or the other person on that call might not want them hearing the information that is being shared over the phone call.

The best headphones to use when working from home are wireless so that they don’t create clutter or get in the way. If you’re someone who spends a lot of time on phone calls or in meetings, you might want to get a wireless headset. There are many products available that are extremely comfortable, and even a little stylish. Most of the time, you won’t even notice you’re wearing them!

A Webcam

Most people with a modern laptop or computer will have a webcam built into their device so it’s not necessarily going to be an added purchase. We suggest you get familiar with how to use your webcam and the apps associated with using video-calls, such as Google hangouts and Zoom. Working from home can be a challenge, but it can also be pretty seamless thanks to all the technology we have. People are able to sit in on meetings, take face-to-face phone calls, and present to others with video and sound. If these are necessities of your job, you’ll need to make sure you have a access to a camera and microphone.

Proper Chair

If possible, you’ll want to get a proper chair. It might not seem like you need one on the first day or so, but trust us, after a few days sitting in a hard wooden chair, on a bed, or even the couch, you’ll start to notice some unnecessary aches and pains. Using a proper chair will prevent postural problems, such as back and neck pain.

If you don’t have the means to purchase a fancy chair, even just a stability ball would work. Lots of people use a stability ball at their desk. Not interested in purchasing a chair or don’t have room for one? Skip the chair all together and invest in a standing desk which have become quite popular as a healthier and more comfortable way to work.

Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse

Similar to having a proper chair, you’ll need an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to help avoid any undue stress on your tendons. Women in particular are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Since the majority of people use a computer throughout the day at their job, this is a necessary investment. Even if you aren’t feeling the twinges or discomfort or pain right now, think of it as an investment in your future. There are enough health risks associated with sitting a desk all day, you don’t want to add to that list by damaging your hands or wrists.

Standard computer mouses and keyboards put a lot of pressure on the wrist and forces our hands to sit in an natural position for long periods of time, every day. Our bodies weren’t designed to sit all day long and our hands weren’t designed to withstand the repetitive stress of typing and clicking all day long. As a result, overtime this can cause serious harm. An ergonomic keyboard and mouse work to alleviate any pressure and inflammation by correcting the hands position, straightening the wrists, and more comfort overall. Do some research to find what product is right for you.

Plants, Art, Scents

Creativity is just as important as productivity. You want to create a space that is refreshing, creative, warm, and one that you enjoy spending time in. You should enjoy the work from home space that you’ve created because let’s face it, you’ll be spending a great deal of time there! Why not make it enjoyable?

The easiest way to brighten up a space is through plants, art, or even smells, like with a scented candle or a diffuser. This is especially important if you aren’t able to provide yourself with a view or any kind of natural light. This kind of stimuli will help you think more clearly and improve your productivity and work in the long run.

A View

You might think having a view would be distracting, but it can actually increase productivity by improving alertness. The way it works is that the natural light from the window actually makes your mind feel more awake and alert than it would in a dark, windowless room. This is especially true during months where there is more sunlight.

Take it up a notch by opening the window on a nice, sunny day. You’ll appreciate the fresh air. If you don’t have access to a window, try and set up your designated workspace in a room that is somewhat close to a window.

Proper Lighting

Similar to having a view, you’ll need proper lighting. This is even more necessary if you aren’t able to get yourself that highly desired view or any kind of natural light from a window. If you’re in the tricky situation where you don’t have access to a window, or at least not one near your desired or designated working space, then you’ll want to invest in a good light. Light not only helps you see better so that you can do your job properly, but it also affects mood and energy levels.

They even have specific light therapy lamps that try to emulate natural light with LED light. Even if you’re near a window, this might be a good purchase because during certain times of the year or depending on where the window is facing, you may find that your desk is shadowed by natural light during key work hours.

Printer and/or Scanner

Even though everything is pretty much online and paperless these days, it’s still a good idea to have either a printer or a scanner in your work from home space. The best case scenario is to buy a printer that has a built-in scanner. This is especially important for people who work with clients or suppliers who still prefer to use paper for their transactions. For some people, this is a necessary tool that allows them to do their job just as well at home as they can in the office.

You may also want to splurge and buy a paper shredder. This is particularly important if you’re someone who deals with confidential information.

Katherine George


Katherine is the Senior Managing Editor of ActiveBeat and Childhood. She is constantly striving to live a more active and healthy life, from eating healthy, exercising, and just spending more time outdoors. She enjoys cooking (with wine), walking her dog, reading, and recently joined a yoga studio!

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